Now that Brockville has walked away from a concrete and asphalt plant project, its biggest neighbour, the united counties, is going to see whether it might be able to accommodate such a development.
Meanwhile, Prescott, which would not be able to host the project, is gearing up for another good-news announcement of its own that will mean up to 25 more jobs.
Brockville Mayor David Henderson on Wednesday announced the city had terminated a deal with the Tomlinson Group, which had applied to rezone lands on Central Avenue West to allow for concrete and asphalt plants and other industrial uses.
The company had said the new complex, spanning 44 acres, would bring as many as 40 jobs to Brockville, but Henderson said the city backed away after an unprecedented negative outcry from city residents.
A citizens' group fighting the project, the Coalition for Responsible Urban Zoning (CRUZ), had suggested the project might be better suited for a location in the region but outside Brockville.
On Thursday, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville economic development manager Ann Weir said the counties government will look into that possibility.
“We'll be exploring the opportunities that perhaps might suit the needs of the client and see if there's a fit,” said Weir.
Officials will look at Leeds and Grenville's “land inventory” to see if it includes anything that might still attract Tomlinson to the region, she said.
Tomlinson spokesman Dale Harley said he did not believe the company is looking to move the original project outside Brockville.
“At this particular time, I don't believe they are, but obviously the door's left open to do so,” he added.
Prescott Mayor Brett Todd, while not familiar with the specifics of the Tomlinson project, said his town cannot pursue it.
“We're sold out. The north side of the 401's completely sold out,” said Todd.
That industrial area is already spoken for, because Speedy Transport plans to create 20 to 25 jobs with a new distribution centre on Development Drive, while Protocol Biomass plans to develop a wood-pellet manufacturing plant in the industrial park. A $60-million first phase of that project is to create 52 jobs and a second phase is intended to add another 26 jobs.
Filling up the rest of the industrial zone will be another project, which Todd plans to announce next week – followed almost immediately by a groundbreaking.
“The shovels are getting into the ground fast and furious,” said Todd.
The mayor would disclose little about the new project until next week's announcement, other than to say it will be a mix of commercial and industrial uses spanning seven acres, and it will create 15 to 25 jobs.
The new project will be beside the Riverside GM dealership, said Todd.